Irish Stories and Tunes Enliven the Archives on March 14th

Along with exhibits, refreshments and illustrated lectures, the UASC gala “Calling the Heart Back Home: Irish-American Stories from the Archives” will feature storyteller Norah Dooley and harpist Susan Miron in a modern re-working of the bardic tradition, combining music and stories to wonderful effect.

The duo is called “The Bard’s Feast” and describes its performances in this way:

In ancient times the bards were not female and not a duo but together we are the The Bard’s Feast. Inspired by the tradition, we are “bringing ‘bardic’ back”, to paraphrase Justin Timberlake.

A Bard’s Feast program combines Irish tunes, many from the repertoire of 18th century blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, with legend, myth and folktales from the vast store of Irish whimsy and tradition. Stories are timeless and living things. Our nontraditional versions of these tales are more products of the storyteller’s seething brain than staid scholarly research.  Leprechauns, the sidhe (fairy people) common folk, heroes and star crossed lovers manifest in the glory of spoken word, entrancing harp and enchanting words.

For the March 14 event at UMass Boston, The Bard’s Feast will present two lively stories: Egg Girl and the Leprechaun, drawn from the traditional repertoire, and Transported – Driving with the Ancestors, more recently minted from Norah’s personal and family history.

Visit The Bard’s Feast website for more information about the bardic tradition, harps, storytelling and more.  And do plan to join us on Wednesday evening, March 14th at UMass Boston.

Topping Out the ISC

Topping Off – Signing the Beam

The topping out of a construction project is a ceremonial event long observed by ironworkers and others in the construction trades marking the end of steel construction by putting into place a final, signed beam.

On February 16, 2012, hundreds of UMass Boston faculty, staff, students, construction workers and local dignitaries signed the beam to mark this milestone in the construction phase of the $155 million Integrated Science Complex.

Everyone who signed the beam also signed a list that will be preserved in the University Archives.

Faculty Research in ScholarWorks

In January 2012, ScholarWorks at UMass Boston had 5,627 full-text downloads, with 123 new submissions to the site.

And what were the most popular papers of the month, you ask? Here you go:

ScholarWorks is the University of Massachusetts Boston’s online institutional repository for scholarship and research. The repository now holds 1,147 records, which have been downloaded a total of 37,646 times.

To learn more about ScholarWorks, and about how you can include your research in the repository, visit or email

Boston Busing / Desegregation Project Film

Boston Buses

Boston Buses

The William Monroe Trotter Institute and the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston will screen the film Can We Talk: Learning for Boston?s Busing/Desegregation Crisis on February 14 from 11 am to 1 p.m.

The screening will take place on the 11th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. For more information, email or call 617-287-5944.

Can We Talk? is a film by media producer Scott Mercer. The film was commissioned by Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN) to capture some on the voices that motivated UMN to begin the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project (BBDP). The film?s purpose is to inspire many others to tell their stories of this era and to invite them into the Project. To learn more about the BBDP, visit

The film offers powerful stories of the 1970?s busing/desegregation crisis that changed Boston forever. Most of those in the film have never publicly shared their stories. It documents how this crisis is still felt today. It aspires to prompt a long-overdue honest conversation about public education and racism, classism, and social injustices that have plagued not only the Boston public schools, but the city of Boston as a community.

They include a bus driver who delivered children to neighborhoods and schools that didn?t want them. A resident of the projects whose admittedly racist family refused to let her be bused to a school with children of color talks about how she was shunned and stigmatized for being poor in the school she attended instead. We also learn from a parent who got involved in politics by accident because of the forces of systemic racism that denied quality of education and simple

respect. These individuals express their feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a candid, honest and, at times, raw way.

While these stories are powerful, there are many, many more stories is to be told if this period is to be understood. The film is an invitation to a process of truth, learning and change and a much larger discussion of what everyone can learn from this iconic period in Boston. The film is a vehicle to help spark honest reflections, dialogues and conversations across the city that would help lead to truth telling about and learning from this era and ultimately to deepen engagement in and commitment to strengthening Boston?s public school system for all its residents.

Audience comments and personal stories will be welcomed, and encouraged, following each screening of Can We Talk?

You’re invited! Mar 14th 2012 “Calling the Heart Back Home”: Irish-American Stories from the Archives

March 14, 2012  |  4:00-7:00 pm  |  Free and open to the public

The Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston invites you to join us on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 to celebrate an exciting new addition to our archival collections: the historic records of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters, dramatically rescued by TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) in 2005. The Foresters records include detailed insurance policy applications dating back to 1879 that afford unique genealogical and historical information about more than 70,000 individuals in Massachusetts, most of whom are of Irish descent.

Join us for this celebration, view sample Foresters records, discover the historical resources and community-focused public history endeavors of Archives and Special Collections at UMass Boston, and learn about upcoming projects and opportunities for historical inquiry and engagement.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

RSVP to or call 617-287-5944 for more information.

Location: Joseph P. Healey Library  |  University of Massachusetts Boston  |  100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125-3393.